Wednesday, April 18, 2007

DIY Distribution Week Continues!

Building upon a theme that keeps continuing for some reason, some more stuff has come to light about self distribution that I feel compelled to pass along. We all have to potential to make good movies (and lots have), but the road to obscurity is littered with them, and you have to make people aware of your work to get them to buy it. It's basic supply and demand.

A Big Movie for Free
Variety is reporting that director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) is planning to make an environmentally themed film called Boomerang. The real news is that he's stealing my idea and releasing it for free distribution. The caveat is the free part comes after costs plus 10% have been recouped. I'm not sure how this will work, but it's interesting to see a big filmmaker moving in this direction.

Distribution Hell
The latest issue of Microfilmmaker magazine has a great article by Mike Flanagan called Self Distribution: Abandon All Hope??? He reiterates what I've been blogging about this week (distributor woes, CustomFlix) as well as adding some very valuable personal experiences. I really like his statement of "if you can secure a nice distribution deal for your indie film, my hat's off to you. But most of us won't." Harsh, but true. Make sure you read all of it.

Creative Commons and the Art of Free
I also took time to re-listen to the interview of Cory Doctorow by Lance Weiler and The Workbook Project. The information given by author Doctorow is really profound, and it's starting to become distribution doctrine for me. This time I picked up the morsel about when you sell your digital file (of your music, movie, book, whatever) don't copy protect it, and make it a format that people can do something with. If people want your thing, they will want it in some kind of universal format, otherwise they'll go to an illegal source where they can get it that way. Wouldn't you rather have them coming to you?

Starting with a business plan before you write one word or shoot one frame is a good idea if you plan to be a filmmaker that makes money. I know that I have yet to implement these plans, but come along with me (or do it yourself) and see how things turn out. The movie world is on the cusp of big changes, and I hope we all can get a nice piece of that yummy pie. And hopefully not worry about paying the rent when we are done.

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